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Sabah Works Ministry on track in dealing with drought, says deputy CM

Publish date: Mon, 22 Apr 2024, 06:37 PM

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Works Ministry has implemented several measures to alleviate water supply issues during the ongoing drought.

State Deputy Chief Minister III and Works Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya stated that to date, water has been provided to 67,308 families in 18 districts affected by the dry season.

He added that the Water Department is collaborating with the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to conduct cloud seeding in Papar, Tawau, and Lahad Datu.

He said this in response to questions from Senallang Assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Tanjong Papat Assemblyman Datuk Frankie Poon, Darau Assemblyman Azhar Matussin, and Appointed Assemblyman Dr Aliakbar Gulasan during the Sabah Legislative Assembly sitting.

He added that the Malaysian Meteorological Department reported that cloud seeding operations conducted on March 28 and 29 had achieved a success rate of 67 per cent, with rainfall recorded on both days.

However, no rainfall was recorded on the third day of operations on March 30.

Shahelmey said efforts have been made to locate underground raw water sources and process them through the purifier water package plant system in severely affected areas on Sebatik Island.

He said water rationing has also been implemented in affected areas, along with the provision of water depots and static tanks for the distribution of treated water to users in selected locations.

For long-term solutions, he stated that the construction of off-river storage and dams is recommended to ensure the security of raw water supply.

Projects earmarked for implementation include the Semporna area rural water supply, expected to be completed by the end of this year, and the Tawau water supply scheme phase III, scheduled for completion by mid-2026.

Projects in the planning stages include the Kota Kinabalu water supply system phase III, with a capacity of 130 million cubic metres, the construction of off-river storage at the Ulu Padas water supply scheme, and an increase in the capacity of the Segaliud water treatment plant in Sandakan from 120 jillion litres (JL) to 125 JL.

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